"Format Project"


I have a recent full license for Xojo desktop,web and console. I got a message yesterday when opening an MBS plugin example that said “Format Project”. I learned since then that this refers to project types in Xojo, to which I’ve paid no attention until now (the other MBS examples, so far, have opened just fine).

I know that the text and maybe XML versions are for version control systems. The binary is the one I’ve been using. I have seen a dropdown–in documentation-- on the save as dialogue in the Xojo IDE showing options for these three formats, and have read about them, yet my Xojo version(s), 2023 Releases 2 and 4, feature no such options. I red there’s an option in Settings (on the Mac) and I selected “text” yet I see no change when saving the project.

I’ve read a blog post and seen a short video and read some posts on the forum about the subject, but there doesn’t seem to be anything comprehensive concerning the use of this feature except for committing to GitHub and such. Does anybody know of some resource I might have missed?

One forum member instructed another that he should contact customer support if these options weren’t present in his version of Xojo (a non-free version). That’s what I’ll do if nobody here knows any better, but I’m assuming one of you does.

Regardless of these other considerations, how do you get rid of this message “Format Project” when opening a file? I can contact Christian at MBS and I’m sure he’ll tell me about that particular file, but this looks like a general matter I should know a lot more about that pertains to Xojo rather than MBS (besides I just wasted Christian’s time last night on another matter).

So, should these options be available in the most recent version of Xojo? And what are the benefits, besides source control compatibility?

Thank you,

Hi @friedrich_boettger (Ftritz),

Have you signed into your Xojo account from within the IDE? Until you do that, the licenses won’t be added to your current instance and you will be limited to binary saves.


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When you create a new project, do you see 4 icons on top or 5?
Run, Build, Help, Feedback, (Buy/Upgrade)

If you go to Xojo menu do you see your email next to ‘My Account’?

If you select License Keys… do you see that you have the license with the right expiration date?

I have never seen the “Format Project” message, maybe @Christian_Schmitz has more information. Can you share which MBS example shows that message?

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Alberto and Tim

Both of you had the right idea. I was signed in, but my “Build” button wouldn’t work any more (which I didn’t know, not having used Build for a while). My license ran out in July of this year. So I downgraded to 2023 Release 1 (from April) and everything is working…

Except this one file that started this line of questioning. The file I’m speaking of is the “Edit” example under the “XL” folder of the MBS plugins Examples (I have 223 and 235). It says " Please run Format project first" in a dialog box with no parameters except “Okay”. The other XL examples I’ve tried in that folder work fine (so far). I have saved the file as the other project formats and have upgraded to API2. Nothing worked. I will contact Christian at MBS, but it would be interesting to note if anybody else had this problem.

I am on a Macbook M1 with Sonoma 14.1.2. I got the same dialog with three Xojo versions, all from 2023.

If anybody has any more information on Project formats, I’d appreciate it, but certainly my Save As dialog displays all the formats as in the documentation. I just don’t know exactly how to use them except for version control.

Thank you both very much,

Well, for our example, there is a “Format” example project, which creates an Excel file.
And the “Edit” example project uses that Excel file as input.

Sorry for the confusion.

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Tim, Alberto and Christian

It turns out I got this completely wrong. As Christian says, he was just referring to a previous project in his MBS XL Examples folder. It’s called “Format” and it formats a cell in Excel, which I suppose I could have figured out if I had gone through the whole file list first.
Indeed, if you run “Format” it creates a file on your desktop. Then “Edit” runs just fine.

I am still wondering what these three Xojo file formats are used for in the real world when they’re not doing version control, but that can wait. I am having too much fun with the XL Examples (and causing too much consternation for everyone else).

As always, your help is most appreciated.

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Have you looked at this bit in the documentation? Project file information